The men, all but one of them members of the far-right English Defence League, set fire to what appears to be the Muslim holy books on the anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities in the United States.
Police visited The Bugle last Wednesday after the video was posted online and two men were arrested on suspicion of stirring racial hatred. They have since been released on bail.
He added that the men were not arrested for watching or distributing the video, but on suspicion of burning the Koran.
Under the UK's pecular laws it is a criminal offence to incite racial hatred.The incident follows tensions in America after an extremist Florida pastor threatened to burn 200 copies of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.
This offence refers to:
- deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group
- distributing racist material to the public
- making inflammatory public speeches
- creating racist websites on the Internet
- inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent.
This is something that I believe should be protected under our right to free speech. As I said to the lovely Hil over our morning tea and crumpets: free speech protects the rights of people to act like arseholes as much as it protects the rights of others to point out that they are arseholes. If a bunch of Gateshead chavs want to set fire to a book then they should be allowed to. They are stupid and ignorant to do so but we should let people be stupid and ignorant in this country. In fact we should be proud of it.
That said I wonder if we could arrest the Pope for making inflammatory speeches...